Boom or Bust in the mountains

Being in a new relationship the second time around is so interesting in my 50’s.   I have heard people call their first marriage their “starter marriage”.  By their second marriage they are determined to live the lessons they learned from the first.  To show up differently in their next relationship.

Since moving to the mountain we have bought a crock pot.  We have tried to make lamb stew and beef bourgeois.  I do feel like a new wife who wants her husbands belly to be happy.    I myself like cooking and chopping and drinking and nibbling more than I like eating the end result.  Suffice to say I am an ok cook but not great.

So I decided to go to a local bookstore to get a crock pot cookbook.  I ventured out in Breckenridge and found a great used bookstore run by two young guys.  I asked them about cookbooks, they led me to a back room and pointed to piles of books on the floor.  “These are all our cookbooks”.   I said I was looking for a slow cooker cookbook.   One young guy pulled out the “fix it and forget it” cookbook, I flipped through it.  It was mostly ingredients like velveta and cream of mushroom soup.  I opted for the classic vintage crockpot cookbook titled Mable Hoffman Crockery cookery from 1975, it used whole ingredients.

I went home and cooked beef bourgeois as per her recipe and it turned out great. It seems that at altitude more flour and water is needed. My fiancé seemed super happy and we ate it once with french crusty bread and once with pasta.   I forget that if something is not sealed and in the fridge it goes rock hard within an hour or two.  Welcome to thin dry air in the Colorado mountains.

I think about women who married gold miners here in the 1800’s what kind of life they must have had.  No running water, and a wood stove.  One woman who owns a clothing store told me that her space used to be a bathhouse in the 1860s.  She said that gold miners would come down the mountain and take a bath on one side of the store, and then buy chocolates on the other side of the store for their sweetheart.

We live right in the gold-rush town.  “Downtown” consists of 4,500 permanent residents, with 160,000 tourists that arrive over the winter season to ski. The town  becomes a ghost town on April 23rd when the mountain closes.  Boom or Bust.

For us not against us

Last night I dreamt I had a plane ticket and I lost it.  Then I found out someone had stolen my passport photo and I could not use my passport.  I looked up the meaning of this in dream dictionaries and it said that I feel out of control with my life.  Have you ever felt out of control with your life?

Experts tell us hat we really can’t control life, that it is an illusion.  The only thing we can control is ourself.  Even then when we go to sleep our subconscious takes over in our dreams.  How much of our  behaviour is programmed in childhood and then set.   Unless we take the time to examine our reactions we end up assuming it is the other person who has the problem.

My father used to believe that the world was out to get him. What if I grew up relating to the world as an adversary?

I do have a choice now, to look at what I want to believe about the world and the people that surround me.

I choose to believe that the universe conspires for me, not against me.

Embracing inconvenience as a way to define our uniqueness

“Today’s cult of convenience fails to acknowledge that difficulty is a constitutive feature of human experience. Convenience is all destination and no journey. But climbing a mountain is different from taking the tram to the top, even if you end up at the same place. We are becoming people who care mainly or only about outcomes. We are at risk of making most of our life experiences a series of trolley rides”. Tim Wu

There has been a lot of research about the next generation of “bubble wrapped kids” who have not developed their struggle muscle, and are set up for a host of addictions and mental health issues.  This is because they are not able to tolerate discomfort, failure and frustration over a period of time.

Discovering how we deal with difficulty and frustration builds character,  it pushes us to reach for our own creative solutions, and our own uniqueness.

Such activities strengthen our ability to be uncomfortable and still work for what we value.  There is a joy in doing something slow and something difficult, the satisfaction of not doing what is the easiest.

Like Amazon’s Jeff Basso says, “slow is smooth, and smooth is fast”.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this…..

Goddess of letting go

Dhumavati is the hindu goddess of letting go.  We are told we can invoke this goddess to help us navigate disappointment, and to discover the freedom in letting go.

Letting go is not something we are taught.  It is a skill we observe in our parents  assuming they are able to let go.

My mother hung onto everything and guarded her belongings.  “Grasping” was a word that comes to mind.

My father was interesting, he was a collector who had 3 of everything just in case.  He grew up in the depression.  He would swing between hording, and letting go of everything.

One day I came home and my mother was furious.  My father had given away the silverware, so we had nothing to eat dinner with.

As a child growing up in the British Air Force, we were forced to let go of the idea of home.  We moved countries every 2 years.  As a kid I intuitively knew not to get too attached to friends, objects, or placse as it would be gone when we moved.

Deep inside me I know I yearned to attach to something.  I had no idea that I could build a “home” inside myself.

Now I find myself in a state of relinquishment, choosing to let go-for love.

How much would you give up for love?

Would you leave your country?

Would you leave your work?

Would you leave your friends?

Would you leave the familiar?

I have a good friend who is now 58, and is seriously seeking love.  His criterion is that a women lives within 30 mintues drive of him.  He is not willing to drive beyond that for love.  Does that not limit his options?  What if his perfect match lived 2 hours away?

How often do we get attached to a fixed outcome, and cling to it.   Then we get angry when something else shows up that does not match our vision.

How do we surrender to the life that is right in front of us?

 

 

A different world inside….

When you get to a certain age you have fewer years in front of you than behind you.  You can stop and evaluate your life.

I believe that the first 50 years of my life I have spent trying to figure the world out, trying to figure life out.  Working very hard to manage life to get what I want.  I have spent all my energy wanting to understand motivations, people and systems.

Now I feel I am moving into the heart phase of my life.  Letting go of the need to know, letting go of the insistence of understanding the world and people.  Letting go of the hard work to constantly quantify people and experiences.

As a child I thought that if I understood and had knowledge it would protect me and keep me safe from the outside world.

As an adult I know…….

Most of the universe is unknowable.

So much of life is a mystery.

When I focus on needing to know, needing to understand; I narrow my bandwidth for the divine to flow in.  I can only know what is in front of me.

The next 30 years I want to spend experiencing the mystery of life.

I want to flow rather than understand.

I want to love rather than evaluate.

I want to discriminate rather than assess.

I want to share the love that I came here to share, for myself and others around me.

If we all did this we would have a very different world!

“Courage and daring are coursing through you. You were made to live and love with your whole heart. It’s time to show up and be seen.”

~ Brené Brown

Transforming our shadow into light

 

We all have a pain story.  We all have a past where we have been hurt, dumped, and left broken-hearted.  We think our story makes us unique.  We believe that no one could fully understand our suffering.

As we enter into the new moon I have been contemplating letting go of my pain story.  To no longer let my pain story define me now, and into the future.

I went to a new moon ceremony that included stories about goddesses, live music and asana practice.

We were led us through yoga asanas while the musicians chanted.  We were told in this new moon we have an opportunity to transform our shadow into light, and to set our intention.

What is it that no longer serves you that you can now let go of?

What darkness would you like to release to the light of this new moon?

 

swimming upstream

Today we sat by the Breckenridge river, at the french bakery here in town. As the days of september get shorter and cooler brook trout and brown trout attempt to go upstream to spawn.

We sat and watched the brown trout in the stream, as the water rushed downhill.  There were two culverts dumping water into lower lying land.  We watched fish trying to jump up to higher ground, going against the rushing water.  They attempted to leap the 5 ft gap.

Their jumps seemed like futile attempts, but they kept trying. These fish were my teachers today…I asked myself:

How much energy do I put into futile endeavours?

How much energy do I put into swimming upstream?   For example trying to do it my way rather than surrender and trust the universe.

Everything flows downstream….I have been swimming upstream all my life, resisting the flow, resisting life.  Letting my mind and ego run the show until it no longer works.

Now is the time to let go and flow.